The fall is upon us, which means we’re heading into the last part of the year already! Personally, it’s my favorite season, so I’m super excited for sweaters, holiday get-togethers, and autumn cocktails.

Today, Chris shows you how to make three of our favorite fall cocktails (or winter drinks as the season unfolds), perfect for your next holiday party– whether it be for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday dinner in between.

Move over, pumpkin spice! All of these cozy cocktail recipes are apple cider drinks, which are sure to warm you up when the temps drop. Check out the video & grab the recipes for these fun cocktails below.


hot cocktail of apple with warm spices and star anise

Copyright A Bar Above


Delicious Apple Cider Cocktails for Fall

We have two cold and one hot apple cider drinks for you. If you want fresh apple cider, you’re certainly welcome to make your own homemade apple cider, of course! However, we’re just using traditional apple cider from the grocery store, so feel free to do the same.

Note: This isn’t the same as apple juice. It’s also not the Angry Orchard hard cider or Martinelli’s sparkling cider. Especially this time of year, you should be able to find unfiltered apple cider (or filtered if you prefer) at any local grocery store or big box store. It looks a lot like juice but offers a different flavor profile.


Apple cocktail

Copyright A Bar Above


How to Make Our Top 3 Apple Cider Drink Recipes

Usually we give you one– maybe two– recipes, but we have three delicious autumn drinks for you today. Check out the video to see Chris walk you through each one, and then keep scrolling down to grab the recipes.



We’ll break down the ingredient list below for each cocktail, but before we start, here is the equipment you’ll need:

Cinnamon Simple Syrup Recipe

Before we get started with these tasty drinks, you’ll want to make your cinnamon syrup beforehand for two of the recipes. Here’s how:

12 ounce cinnamon simple syrup in a jar

Copyright A Bar Above



  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Cane Sugar
  • 3-4 Crushed Cinnamon Sticks


Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, and then let simmer for two minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat, and let it steep for about 2 hours. Strain out all the solids with a fine strainer, and store in an airtight container (like a Mason jar) for up to 1 month.


Apple Cider Mimosa Recipe

This sophisticated drink is a fun twist on the classic cocktail and utilizes simple ingredients that are sure to please at any brunch– you can even serve it “party punch style” as a batched cocktail by scaling up the recipe. If you want a stiffer drink, up the amount of champagne and/or slightly lower the amount of cider.


apple mimosa in a champagne glass

Copyright A Bar Above



  • 1 ounce Apple Cider
  • 1/2 ounce Amaro Nonino
  • 4 ounces Champagne or Sparkling White Wine


Pour all ingredients into a champagne flute, and give them a light stir with your bar spoon. Garnish with a slice of apple.


Apple Cider Margarita Recipe

This refreshing apple cider cocktail marries the taste of apple cider with rich tequila, lemon, and cinnamon. This is where your aforementioned cinnamon syrup will come into play. Also, yes, I did say lemon rather than fresh lime juice. Because of the other flavors used here, Chris has switched out the acid component of this sour cocktail.


apple cider margarita with warm spices in a lowball glass

Copyright A Bar Above



  • 2 ounces Añejo Tequila
  • 1/2 ounce  Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce Apple Brandy
  • 1/2 ounce Apple Cider
  • 1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 ounce Cinnamon Syrup
  • Salt or Cinnamon Sugar (for garnish)
  • Apple Slices & Cinnamon Stick (for garnish)

Prepare your glass by dipping the rim in your cider and then dipping it in salt. (Alternatively, you could do a cinnamon sugar rim.) Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 5-7 seconds, and then double strain into your cocktail glass with ice, and top with a fresh apple slice & cinnamon stick or dehydrated apple garnish.


Spiked Cider Drink Recipe: Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail

This delicious cocktail is the only hot drink on our list, making it the perfect drink for a cold fall or winter night. Even though it calls for basic ingredients, there are plenty of recipe variations for this one; but here’s our current standout version of an apple cider hot toddy, a twist on the classic that combines fresh lemon juice and hot cider with bourbon.


Hot apple cocktail with star anise and spices

Copyright A Bar Above


Feel free to use your own choice of bourbon from your liquor cabinet. And you can make a cold version of this comforting drink if you prefer! We’ve also seen it with apple brandy or caramel vodka, but we personally aren’t a huge fan of flavored vodkas.

But as we always say… Drink what you like! The great thing about hot cider is that you can just add your favorite alcohol and immediately have a delicious holiday cocktail. You can also warm up some cider for the kids or non-drinkers and then add your favorite bourbon or other spirit after for a grown-up twist, making it a delicious drink for the entire family.

For me personally, this is the perfect fall cocktail for a chilly evening. It’s comforting, and you can easily adjust the alcohol content.


warm apple cider

Copyright A Bar Above



  • 1 1/2 ounces Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce Amaro
  • 1/2 ounce Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 4 ounces Apple Cider (hot, to top)


Bring the apple cider to a boil on the stove, and immediately remove from the heat; pour the warm cider into a coffee mug. Add the remaining ingredients, and give the apple cider mixture a good stir until mixed. Garnish with apple slices, a lemon wheel, and/or a cinnamon stick. Optional: Add whipped cream and caramel sauce to your warm apple cider cocktail for the ultra caramel apple experience.


apple cocktail in an ice-filled rocks glass

Copyright A Bar Above


Other Apple Cider Cocktail Recipes:

In case you just can’t get enough apple cocktails, here are more of our favorite recipes to try on a chilly night:

  • Apple Cider Sangria: A twist on classic Sangria, this delicious recipe adds apple flavor for the holiday season.
  • Apple Cider Spritz: Similar to apple Mimosas, use Prosecco and Aperol for a bittersweet balance of flavors with the cider.
  • Apple Cider Moscow Mule: Combine spicy ginger beer with the seasonal flavor of apples for this festive drink. Garnish with a lime or fresh ginger.
  • Apple Cider MartiniAlthough not a real Martini, this mixed drink is a delicious combo of vodka, cider, Cointreau orange liqueur, lemon juice, maple or simple syrup, and hint of cinnamon.
  • Hot Apple (Spiced Apple Cider): This non-alcoholic drink is simply warm cider with spices, whipped cream, and caramel sauce. If you’re serving it at a party, you can keep it in a crock pot or slow cooker for guests to serve themselves.
  • Apple Syrup: As Chris mentions in the video, you can reduce your cider on the stove, making it into an apple simple syrup– which can then be used in a variety of cocktails where you would use simple syrup.


a warm drink of hot toddy with 2 ounces of bourbon bourbon, apple orchard cider, lemon peel, and a cinnamon stick

Copyright A Bar Above


Spiked Apple Cider Recipes for Fall

So what’s your favorite spiked apple cider cocktail– or just your favorite fall drink in general? If it’s not one on our list, definitely leave us a comment below and share your favorite apple cocktail recipe. Until next time… Stay cozy, my friends!


About Melanie Tornroth

A former English teacher, Melanie optimistically embraces the struggle that is work-from-home parenthood as the in-house writer for A Bar Above. When not responding to “Mom” and writing articles for ABA, she also runs Goodnickels Photography, loves to cuddle her cats, and is perfecting the art of keeping her pandemic “fermentation babies” alive.